BELMONT, N.Y. — Summer is here and with it the bugs, slugs and other creepy-crawlies. Who are the good guys; who are the bad? This is relative, of course; mosquitoes are BAD for us but GOOD for the Tree Swallows. It’s a moral dilemma.
If you want to know who’s who in the rogue gallery, borrow a book on the subject or go online (which has great apps); take a picture of your particular rogue and send it off to magic land to then simply have the identification. Wow.
In general, a daily patrol with sharp eyes is a good start. Fifteen minutes with scissors and soapy water will do wonders on the slugs and Japanese beetles. Remember, beautiful butterflies come from leaf-chewing caterpillars. Once I caught a Swallowtail’s caterpillar eating up one of my carrot tops. I moved it to a Queen Anne’s lace in the field where it happily continued to munch. (Carrots and Queen Anne’s lace are in the same family.)
And a reminder: if you did not put up some bird houses in April, set them up next spring. It’s not too late for a toad house!
–M. L. Wells
Cornell Cooperative Extension Allegany County